The Broken Earth Trilogy by N.K.Jemisin
When we say that “the world has ended,” remember – it is usually a lie. The planet is just fine.
~N.K. Jemisin in The Stone Sky
This is a trilogy made up of the books ‘The Fifth Season’, ‘The Obelisk Gate’ and ‘The Stone Sky’. The trilogy largely follows the life of one black woman who is part of a special group of people who have superpowers. In the fantasy world that Jemisin creates, this group of people have superpowers in that they are quite literally forces of nature, for example, they can move tectonic plates and control the flow of volcanoes. However, because this group of people has these powers they are seen as a threat to society and they are perceived as a group that needs to be controlled, especially by those who do not have these powers. Another interesting aspect about the books is that the earth, which is referred to as ‘Father Earth’ is personified and given agency to act in his own interest. Father Earth hates humans for what they have done to him and he is actively working to destroy humans. This is why this group of people with superpowers are so important because in essence they are the only people that can quell the rage of Father Earth.
These are important books of our time that cleverly criticizes the anthropocene and the idea that humans have become a force of nature whilst highlighting that it is not all humans that have had this power over earth. Moreover, the books are mostly narrated by a black woman and refuse to play with easy binaries like that of the ‘enemy vs the people’. In the books there are many different players who interact with one another and who ultimately all have their own goals.
More than anything the books are fun and filled with drama, lovers ,wars and so much more! The first book in the trilogy – ‘The Fifth Season’ was awarded the Hugo prize for best novel in 2016.